Located on Centennial College Progress Campus in Ontario, Canada, the A-Block Expansion Building’s design will be a new landmark with the objective of enriching the campus entrance, promoting the future of education in a diverse and inclusive environment and embodying the College’s deep commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.
When it is completed in 2023, this building is designed to become the first net-zero carbon, mass timber, LEED® Gold higher education facility in Canada.
The building includes classrooms, labs, spaces for student engagement, administration and faculty offices. Over 133,000 sq ft of that space is new construction, and 16,000 sq ft is renovation of the existing facility. It will respond to a broad range of cultural and gender needs with spaces that include an Indigenous Commons, gender neutral washrooms, Indigenous offices, an elder room, a multi-faith room and lactation rooms.
The building form is inspired by Indigenous principles and the Mi’kmaq concept of two-eyed seeing. Across the North of the building, the Wisdom Hall emerges from east to west; a highly transparent, four-storey diagonal atrium space for faculty, staff, students and visitor engagement and study zones. Connected to the atrium at Level 2 is the Indigenous Commons, a large multi-purpose space that serves to organize the building program around it and forms the heart of the building.
The new building connects to the existing street edge including a large landscaped area with native plantings that transforms the south-west corner of the campus, forming a gateway, and yielding greater pedestrian connections that enhance the public realm. Interior planning ensures equitable design for all. It is characterized by flexible, engaging, diverse, inclusive and sustainable environments. Planning standardization and modularity are used to allow spaces to be reconfigured, while maximizing daylight, natural ventilation, and creating a place of community and networking for all.